Sweden supported IOM project promotes community stabilization

Harare, 14 November 2016 – today IOM Zimbabwe hosted a close out meeting to officially conclude the Swedish Government funded project entitled “Responding to the Immediate and Residual Needs of the Vulnerable Migrants and Mobile Population Groups in Zimbabwe”.IMG_20161114_104117.jpg

 Under the project IOM provided humanitarian assistance to 2,454 households with 1,500 tarpaulins for temporary shelters, 2000 blankets, 255 Non Food Item packs and cash transfers, establishment of 3 Resource Support Centres at border posts and assisted 35,000 returned migrants with food, medical treatment and transportation.

In her remarks, Ms Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission said, “IOM remains committed to supporting the government and migration affected communities particularly in the areas of environment and resilience which have become the pillars for sustainable development.”

The project was funded by the Swedish International Development and Co-operation Agency (Sida) and was implemented from January 2014 to March 2016 with the objective to contribute to a comprehensive community stabilization and resilience building for internally displaced persons and other vulnerable migrants.  

Speaking at the same occasion, Ms Maria Selin, the Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy, affirmed that Sweden has a strong history of global co-operation on migration and development. She said, “Our ambition has been to, in partnership with IOM Zimbabwe, ensure mobile and vulnerable population groups that have been facing a lot of challenges for some time can achieve durable solutions.”

In line with development frameworks for Zimbabwe, the project contributed to the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Framework (ZUNDAF) and the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZimAsset) priority areas such as; agriculture and livelihoods (through mechanized conservation agriculture micro-irrigation and enterprise  development), population and social services (through education, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), health projects), justice and governance themes through Community Based Planning (CBP).

A community participatory planning tool, the Community Based Planning was implemented and has been institutionalized at district, provincial and national levels to involve actual community members to plan and prioritize development initiatives for their respective communities.

Under transition and community stabilization, IOM in collaboration with the Government of Zimbabwe, supported communities in establishing three climate smart irrigation schemes, constructing and rehabilitating of 5 cattle dip tanks and provision of 8 community boreholes. Access to basic social services was improved through construction of 2 health centres and capacity building of over 200 health staff. School infrastructure at 7 schools was improved through construction of 2 classroom blocks, provision of 2 teachers ‘houses, 5 institutional boreholes and sanitation facilities at 7 schools.

The meeting, attended by officials from the Swedish Embassy, Government of Zimbabwe, UN agencies, Civil Society Organizations, representatives from benefiting district authority and community, and the media, allowed reflecting on achievements, challenges and lessons learnt of the project. It also served as a forum for cross-section of the media and other stakeholders to discuss IOM Zimbabwe’s strategic direction to consolidate the gains in order to respond to emerging migration related issues.